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Dwyane Wade also thinks Olympians should be paid

Apr 11, 2012, 7:12 PM EDT

Dwyane Wade Team USA Olympics Getty Images

Ray Allen — a guy with a gold medal at home but if he’s going to London this summer it is as a tourist — said yesterday that Olympians should be paid.

Dwyane Wade — Team USA’s leading scorer from 2008 who almost certainly will be part of Team USA this summer — agrees.

Here is what Wade told ESPN’s Michael Wallace.

“It’s a lot of things you do for the Olympics — a lot of jerseys you sell,” Wade said after the Heat’s practice on Wednesday in advance of Thursday’s game against Chicago. “We play the whole summer. I do think guys should be compensated. Just like I think college players should be compensated as well. Unfortunately, it’s not there. But I think it should be something, you know, there for it….

“The biggest thing is now you get no rest,” Wade said. “So you go to the end of the season, (Team USA) training camp is two weeks later. You’re giving up a lot to do it. It’s something you want to do. But it’s taxing on your body. You’re not playing for the dollar. But it would be nice if you would get compensated.”

Wade’s point about jersey sales and money made off the players — plus the time the players are committing to the program — is a valid one. (Yes, players are paid a stipend/per diem, but like the NBA travel money it’s not that much to these guys in the scheme of things.)

As I said before, lets not pretend the players are completely altruistic here — they are building their brands and helping sell shoes on an international scale.

But the idea of the players getting a piece of Team USA jersey licensing, that seems fair to me.

  1. pudgalvin - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Then don’t do it Dwayne. Not to get all preachy, but for every NBA player that makes 12 million dollars playing in the NBA for the rest of the year, there are a hundred athletes in other sports that train their balls off for four years simply because they really like their sports. How much money do you need exactly, Dwayne?

  2. xLith - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    As said in the article, they’re building their brand. Whatever happened to American pride? There are NBA players from other countries that sacrifice their bodies every year for Euroleagues and such and they do it for pride, for their country. If you didn’t have this great nation, you wouldn’t have the paycheck you do now. Shut up and take some pride in what you do.

  3. bhester1906 - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    I think he had a valid point. Unfortunately, the Olympics don’t pay the participants of the USA team. If you think you should be paid simply don’t play. I don’t mean that in a mean or confrontational way but it’s simple. If you don’t like the rules just dont participate.

    • david8726 - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:42 PM

      In theory I would agree with you that people participating in the Olympics should be doing it 100% for their country and shouldn’t expect to be paid.

      However, I have a huge problem with the fact that jersey manufacturers make bucket loads of money off of Team USA jersey sales and the players don’t see a dime of that.

      Either I*everyone* should get paid (players and jersey makers alike), or they should donate ALL of the money to charities. It’s never fair when one group of people does all the work and another group of people gets all the direct profits.

      This is very similar to the issue of how college players make so much money for their schools and they don’t see a dime of it. That’s wrong too in my mind.

  4. david8726 - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    I agree with Wade and Allen that, at the very least, they should get a cut of the profits that come from the USA basketball jersey sales.

    How is it fair that there are people profiting off of the sales of those jerseys, but the players get no part of that money?

    In my opinion, they should either give the players a cut of those profits or donate 100% of the profits to charities.

  5. jjordannba - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    You’re playing for pride and a chance to represent YOUR country, if that’s not enough then don’t do it

  6. megaballer23 - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    What is wrong with representing your country. It should be considered a privilege and not a right and paying athletes to play in the Olympics goes against the whole ideal of Olympics and competing for your country ( and not for $).

    I feel sorry for Dwayne
    If he doesn’t want to go then don’t go, there are hundreds of guys who will represent their country with pride and give their all without asking for anything in return. If I was Jerry colangelo or coach K, I would send Dwayne packing

  7. bearsstillsuck - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    If he wont do it for the honour that it is, then I don’t want him representing my country. I’d rather my country not place honourably then win with mercenaries.

  8. go619chargers - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Greedy @ss people. Shut up and play for your country! Or just don’t do it! Saying your body this, your body that. These guys cry more than the troops do about money. But I guess u can put a price on America’s safety, but not on what these basketball players “do” for this country. Disgusting.

  9. tampajoey - Apr 11, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    Shocker, from another entitled pro athlete. FU Wade!

  10. metalhead65 - Apr 11, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    he is right! I mean it is really a struggle for the nba guys just to survive on what they make during the season and then they expect them to represent for their country for free? the nerve of the people in charge! I say we fans band together and take up a collection for the poor underpaid players. after all the sacrifices they make playing a game in the name of their country it is the least we can do.

    • metalhead65 - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:11 PM

      you people who are thumbs downing me do realize that this was sarcasim right? unless of course you believe these overpaid divas are right.

  11. drunkenjunk - Apr 11, 2012 at 8:12 PM

    They should go back to having college kids play in this. Nothing will ever compete with Dream Team I.

  12. The Overtime Sports Talk Show - Apr 11, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    I do not agree. You are compensated, when you can say on your resume..”Olympic Medal Winner”..you do it for your country, for pride..the NBA season is for getting paid.

    • david8726 - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:11 PM

      What about Nike? Are you ok with them making money off of the Olympics via the design / sale of USA basketball jerseys?

      I don’t think it’s right that we tell one group of people (the players) “it’s the Olympics, you’re not allowed to make any money from this,” and then tell another group of people (Nike), “it’s the Olympics, but you can keep making your millions off of it.”

      • The Overtime Sports Talk Show - Apr 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

        Nike is a company, our Olympic Committee deals with that. I don’t want our guys and girls showing up in front of the world in potato sacks. If a sponsor makes money, so be it. Can proceeds be donated? Sure, I’d like to see Nike donate some proceeds to a HS sports program.

      • The Overtime Sports Talk Show - Jun 7, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        Companies like Nike sponsor our Olympic Athlete’s and pay for a great deal so our young people can participate. The Government, to my understanding, has limited the amount of tax payer money at this point. Corporations really do more now than they ever have financially.

  13. BigBeachBall - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    national pride at it’s best….

  14. thenmoveback - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    He says in the article he plays for the country. He just thinks some of the money the NBA makes in the Olympics should go to the players. Why should the NBA make money for doing nothing and not the players playing? Ppl just want to HATE. GO HEAT GO AMERICA

    • berbes - Apr 12, 2012 at 9:11 AM

      i expected nothing less from a heat fan.

      maybe he can give some of that extra olympic ca$h to waitresses that serve wade & his buddies in the form of a tip, which is another word they don’t understand, besides patriotism.

      you know, with a little stretching you could probably fit a bit more wade down your throat.

  15. vols84 - Apr 11, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Of course he does along with Ray. I think they guys make enough that they should cover the other US Olympians bills. How about that Dewayne?

  16. lemfax - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    If you want money stay w/ your team. As far as I know Olympic is voluntary for those who really love country. Where not talking about sales or business matter here. It’s about carrying the american flag and your name with it… And that’s paid everything… Patriotism is different from the money. You can’t have it at the same time. You need to sacrifice the other to achieve the other. A lot of players wants to be a part of the DREAM TEAM not a DOLLAR TEAM!

  17. lemfax - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    P.S. Still HEAT vs SPURS in the Finals….

  18. rooney24 - Apr 11, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    But, if you would start paying the basketball players, you would have to pay the athletes in every other sport as well. This is just far too rocky of a slope to start down. If it were an athlete in a sport that doesn’t pay multi-millions per season, I would “maybe” be a little sympathetic. But, when the NBA guys are the ones bringing it up, they look REALLY greedy.

    If not having time off is a problem, then the players should work with the league to adjust the schedule somehow in Olympic years in order to get the players some time off. You don’t need to change the Olympics to fit the players. The players need to adjust to fit into the Olympics or they shouldn’t go.

  19. ezmagic - Apr 12, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    Greedy bastards! Don’t play if you cant play for honor and pride oh yea and for us, your country!

  20. fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    A lot of athletes from other countries would gladly play for their country for free… but they need to be compensated somehow simply because they are not millionaires. They do need financial support TO GET BY and improve on their craft.

    But for multi-millionaire pro-athletes, I don’t think that they would need stipends.

    If anything, any profits generated by companies like Nike should indicate that significant proceeds would go to non-government organizations of the pro-athletes’ choosing.

  21. glink123 - Apr 12, 2012 at 6:19 AM

    This is easy to fix. In your next endorsement contract with Nike or Adidas, or Gatorade, just put in an Olympics clause. If you play in the Olympics, Nike pays you an extra million bucks. Problem solved. The sponsors are the ones who profit financially from the exposure of having NBA players in the Olympics. They should be the ones sharing that extra revenue with their clients. This isn’t an NBA issue. It’s an endorsement issue.

  22. missouricharger - Apr 12, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    I used to have a lit of respect for Dwayne. My perception of him as a man has drastically changed over the last 2 years. Although I still have immense respect for Ray, I completely disagree with them. The money they generate during the Olympics helps to fund the Olympic games, and there should be nobility taken in that.

    As far as collegiate athletes being paid, you have to understand that they are. A free education at a top division 1 school, along with room and board, is quite the pay. Especially if you consider the players that don’t pan out professionally. They make their money in a separate career, thanks to that free education. If they don’t stay in school to finish their education, that’s their choice, and they should have to deal with it.

  23. Felander's Game Space - Apr 12, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    I think this is all very disgusting, the fact that NBA players are complaining about not making more money. As an example software engineers that work on a game don’t get a cut of the profits, an assemblyman on the line of a car manufacturer doesn’t get a percentage, nor do the oil-rig workers. Likely they get a bonus if the game or car sells well or if profits reach a certain level from a “gusher” as the saying goes but not a cut of the profits. The same can be said for almost every industry. I think this is more in line with the rich wanting to get richer. If you aren’t interested in representing your country, which by the way is an HONOR, under the guidelines set out by the comission that governs these things, then shut up and stay home. It all seems a little too greedy for my tastes. And as a final thought, you guys play a game for a living. You should be thankful for the oppportunity to make 1000’s more than the average working person (hence the reason you do it) and get paid very well to do so. And as a final thought, it wasn’t until the last 20 years or so that the Olympics let paid professionals compete because it used to be about amatuer atheletes. Now even that is gone.

    Shame on all of the players for thinking that their own pocketbook should be the driving factor in determining their competing against the best the world has to offer.

  24. glink123 - Apr 12, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Put this in a different light. Pretend your company decided to launch a reality TV show at your office, starring you and your co-workers, and the show generated $250 million in extra revenue for the company. Your company keeps all of it. You boss says you are already paid an hourly wage, so no raise. The extra $250 million is all his. Think you’d be tempted to ask for a raise?

  25. redbirdfan81 - Apr 12, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    If you spoiled, rich, childish millionaires can’t do something for your country, then don’t! I’d prefer a great group of college seniors anyway. They care that they are there and want to do something for the USA. Even if they don’t win gold every time, they will make us proud!

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